I’m a bit late putting this up and in fact the next survey is underway! The ACRE report archive can be found here.
1. 1st Quarter Alabama Residential Real Estate Outlook Positive
This survey projects expectations for the 1st quarter of 2014. The scale ranges from 0-100 with 0 being much worse, 100 being much better, and 50 indicating no change expected.
The professional real estate community has a very optimistic outlook for 2014. All of the overall indicators are at the highest 1st quarter levels we have seen since beginning of the survey in 2010. All of the indicators improved from last quarter and remain at or above 50 indicating expansion expected, except for credit. The availability of credit continues to be viewed somewhat negatively, at 49, two points better than last quarter.
1.1 Overview Scores:
This quarter showed improvement in all regions for residential markets. In addition, the commercial indicators are in a clear uptrend. This is encouraging, and overall measures remain in the expansion zone.
The below chart reflects the aggregate scores for the survey overall. The overall total stat score is in bold blue.
1.2 Commercial Market:
Commercial market participants, (the majority of the respondents are from the Birmingham market area), remained positive this quarter (Total Stat) at 58 this quarter a two point improvement from last quarter and improving 7 points to an all time high of 61 for sales expectations. Price expectations improved 3 points to 56 indicating improving pricing conditions. The score for credit availability is at a new high of 56, up 3 from last quarter.
1.3 Regional Results:
The coastal region continued to remain the most optimistic in the state at 61 (Alabama expectations), up from 58 last quarter. On an overall basis all areas sales expectations remained above 50. The coastal region, also had the highest sales expectations at 62. The moving average line is the prior 4 quarters averaged of the Alabama expectations, to remove the effects of seasonality, and it is easy to see the pretty steady upwards trend.
Regional Total scores chart:
The charts below also have a “moving average” line which averages the “Total Stat” for prior 4 quarters, by area, to smooth out the seasonal variations. The quarter to quarter variation is highly seasonal, but the moving average shows a better picture of the overall trend, which is quite positive.
North Alabama total score improved 6 points from last quarter to 53, also 6 points better than last year’s 4th quarter.
The sales outlook improved to 59 from 48 last quarter, but with price expecatations also climbing to 50.
1.5 North Central
The North Central Region overall score climbed to 55 from 53. The sales score improved to 59 from 54. Inventory score climbed to 53 from 51, with pricing remaining at 55, and credit availability slipping one point to at 48.
1.6 South Central
The South Central Region overall score improved to 53 from 49 last quarter. The outlook for sales improved to 57 from 51.
The Southern Region overall score was the highest at 58. This sales score is the highest at 62. Price expectations declined by 5 to 56. Credit availability was 54 the first time we have seen it above 50.
About the Alabama Real Estate Confidence Index and Survey:
About 400 professionals responded to the 4th quarter 2013 survey which was conducted during the month of December 2013. The survey, conducted by the Alabama Center For Real Estate has the largest participation of any real estate survey. It provides important market insights. Full history and raw scores can be obtained by contacting the undersigned.
The ACRE Leadership Council determined the need for a statewide industry confidence index and this was adopted as the Council’s first initiative. Tom Brander, Council Member, was selected by the Council and Grayson Glaze, ACRE Executive Director, to spearhead and work with the Center to conduct and produce its Alabama Real Estate Confidence Index (ARECI). The Council appreciates everyone who participated.